Super sub Fofana rescues late point for Burnley against Fulham

Super sub David Datro Fofana was Burnley’s hero as the Chelsea loanee struck twice to earn the Clarets a last-minute 2-2 draw against Fulham at Turf Moor.

The Cottagers looked set to raise the pressure on Vincent Kompany, whose side were booed off at half-time, after dominating for much of the game and racing into a two-goal lead inside 21 minutes through Joao Palhinha and Rodrigo Muniz.

Only the introduction of home debutant Fofana, shortly after the hour mark, finally sparked the hosts into life and it took him only seven minutes to give them hope, nodding Lorenz Assignon’s cross into an empty net.

That belief turned to reality in added time when he bundled Wilson Odobert’s low cross over the line from close-range, to earn the Clarets a valuable point despite conceding the first goal – something they had not managed previously all season.

Burnley’s point keeps them seven points from safety owing to Luton’s draw at Newcastle, while Fulham’s poor form now extends to a run of one win in seven matches.

Player ratings

Burnley: Trafford (7), Assignon (6), O’Shea (6), Ekdal (5), Vitinho (5), Brownhill (5), Berge (7), Ramsey (6), Odobert (7), Foster (6), Amdouni (5).

Subs: Esteve (6), Fofana (8), Gudmundsson (6), Bruun Larsen, Massengo (n/a).

Fulham: Leno (5), Castagne (6), Adarabioyo (6), Ream (7), Robinson (7), Reed (6), Palhinha (7), De Cordova-Reid (5), Pereira (7), Willian (7), Muniz (7).

Subs: Broja (6), Cairney (6), Tete (n/a).

Man of the match: David Datro Fofana.

How Fofana rescued unlikely point to build Burnley belief

Burnley had enjoyed one of English football’s quirkier records coming into the game, with their last home defeat against Fulham coming back in 1951.

But that 73-year hoodoo looked under real threat with barely a quarter of an hour gone, when the first attack of note was glanced home by Palhinha at the near post from a pinpoint Andreas Pereira corner.

It felt like a familiar tale to see the Clarets starting brightly before paying the price for a defensive lapse. That deja vu only became stronger once Antonee Robinson’s hopeful ball forward beat the offside trap and found Muniz, whose first-time lob was too much for James Trafford to keep out.

Rodrigo Muniz doubles Fulham's lead at Burnley
Rodrigo Muniz’s goal was his first in the Premier League for Fulham

Odobert’s narrow far-post miss was the only hint Burnley produced of a comeback before the break, leaving Kompany to endure the jeers of his home support at the interval.

A third goal would have surely secured a much-needed victory for Fulham after the break, and Burnley were indebted to the form of Trafford for twice keeping out Willian as well as a Tosin Adarabioyo header and a stinging Muniz effort.

Team news

  • Vincent Kompany handed a full debut to Deadline Day arrival Lorenz Assignon, and recalled Aaron Ramsey in midfield after injury. Ameen Al-Dakhil and Johann Berg Gudmundsson dropped out.
  • Armando Broja was left on the bench after his last-minute move from Chelsea, with Rodrigo Muniz chosen to replace the injured Raul Jimenez. Harrison Reed returned to partner Joao Palhinha while Tim Ream replaced the absent Issa Diop.

It owed more to an singular moment of quality than any shift in momentum that afforded Burnley hope of a comeback, with a crisp counter-attack following a Fulham corner worked quickly to Assignon, whose cross was misjudged by Bernd Leno and nodded into an unguarded net by Fofana.

That still did little to shift the dial, with Fulham seemingly comfortable to see out a one-goal advantage. But at that point, it only needed another moment to prove decisive, and so it proved.

Odobert’s fine play down the flank saw him get past Timothy Castagne and into space, before he dug out a low cross which was turned home by Fofana on the slide to secure a dream home debut for the 21-year-old, and finally bring some belief back to Turf Moor.

What’s next?

Burnley visit Liverpool at Anfield next Saturday in the Premier League; kick-off 3pm. Fulham host Bournemouth at the same time.

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